Biden taps former NSA cyber director to lead SolarWinds response

The lawmakers had sent a letter to the White House earlier this week urging President Joe Biden to select one official to oversee the federal government’s response to the breach.

The White House has tapped Anne Neuberger, a career intelligence veteran and former senior cybersecurity official at the National Security Agency, to lead the government's response to the SolarWinds hack, according to two senators.

"The federal government's response to date to the SolarWinds breach has lacked the leadership and coordination warranted by a significant cyber event, so it is welcome news that the Biden administration has selected Anne Neuberger to lead the response," Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in a February 10 statement.

Warner and Rubio, the top senators on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, earlier this week published a letter to the White House asking the administration to name a single official responsible for overseeing the government's response.

Emily Horne, spokesperson for the National Security Council, told multiple media outlets that Neuberger's leadership on the breach is nothing new.

"Since Day 1, she has been running an interagency process on SolarWinds."

Neuberger formerly served as the director of the NSA's cybersecurity division and was tapped by the White House to be the deputy national security advisor for cyber and emerging technology at the National Security Council.

In one of her first public engagements in that role, Neuberger told a federal advisory committee yesterday that "President Biden has immediately shown leadership with saying we've got to get a handle on the SolarWinds incident."

She also told that group, the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, that the White House would include several of its recommendations into "our new national cyber strategy." Those recommendations include accelerating the adoption of cybersecurity guidelines, promoting software and supply chain assurance, and "a whole-of-nation approach to ensuring U.S. leadership in key emerging technologies."

Until now, a group of intelligence agencies and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency had been jointly responsible for the federal government's response to the SolarWinds hack.

This article first appeared on FCW, a Defense Systems partner site.